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Originally published: 2012-12-03 14:54:10
Last modified: 2012-12-03 14:54:10

Our View: Building blocks of sustainable home energy begin in Boone

A wise man is credited with saying, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" -- actually the eccentric English cleric Charles Caleb Colton has earned that distinction -- and such flattery is on full display with Appalachian State University's Solar Homestead.

ASU's award-winning entry into the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy International Solar Decathlon is proving to be no mere academic exercise. Already, the university's prize homestead has caught the attention of at least two private enterprises, both with an eye on crafting a home using solar energy as a source of alternative energy. 

Indeed, one company has gone so far as to bargain for the copyrights to the home's design and specifications, and the university will receive a royalty for each home that company sells.

More recently, the green energy production of ASU's solar home was noticed by a builder of prefabricated modular and doublewide homes. This developer reportedly intends to apply the "green living solutions" found in such innovations to new designs.

Theoretical science with practical implications and implementations is the foundation of ASU's Solar Homestead. And nothing will come from this exercise  more practical than affordable housing that targets sustainable energy.

It will be no surprise a generation hence if nearly all new homes incorporate some form of alternative energy -- forms that will likely have found a kernel of inspiration in ASU's seminal project.